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Mackay calls for perspective as Ross County lose to Hibernian

The County boss is confident the team can steer clear of relegation fears.

Malky Mackay calls for perspective as Ross County lose to Hibernian SNS Group

Malky Mackay insists Ross County cannot allow Saturday’s defeat at Hibernian to derail their cinch Premiership survival bid.

The Highland outfit fell to their first loss in five league outings after Jake Doyle-Hayes scored a superb second-half brace to secure a 2-0 triumph for Shaun Maloney’s team.

The setback leaves the Staggies 10th in the table, just above the relegation zone.

However, Mackay insists County must reflect on a recent positive run of games that saw them take points off the likes of Rangers and Aberdeen and beat fellow strugglers Dundee.

Mackay said: “I’m not sure I’d call it a predicament – that’s one defeat in five. We are where we are.

“We came here and made sure we were competitive.

“We know that every week it’s a tough league, everyone can beat everyone. We just get up and get on with it again.

“We are coming down to one of the biggest clubs with one of the biggest budgets in Scotland.

“We are a team that’s going toe to toe with teams in this league and not seen as the minnow.

“Well maybe we are but when I put a team out we are as dangerous as the other team.

“We are one defeat in five and seven unbeaten at home. It’s a tough league and people go through runs.

“It’s going to be that until the end of the season and we are going to have to be on our mettle every week.

“I’m confident in the group I’ve got that they are as good as most in this league.”

Following a dull first half, Doyle-Hayes opened the scoring in the 50th minute with a strike from inside the area that County goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw got a hand to.

The Irishman’s second was even better as he chested down Ross Callachan’s partial clearance before volleying the ball into the top corner from 20 yards out.

Hibs collected a first league win in seven outings to move within nine points of third-placed Hearts.

However, Maloney insists catching their city rivals is not top of his priority, with a host of teams all battling for fourth.

He said: “I don’t think we should concentrate too much on the gap between us and Hearts.

“I know the fans would like to given the city but I think we have to respect what’s around about us.

“It was a big win but we have to fight to stay in the top six and four or five teams can still achieve fourth.

“I wouldn’t worry about third just yet. If we continue to play like we did in the second half then we can, but there is a lot of work to do first.”